limestone: uses, benefits, and side effects
Limestone, commonly known as chuna in Hindi, is a type of sedimentary rock. The use of limestone as a building material is profound. It is also a popular ingredient in the chemical industry for the production of lime.
The major ways of formation of limestone are either through evaporation or with the help of living organisms. The main constituents of limestone are marine organisms like molluscs, forams, and corals. Crystal forms of the compound calcium carbonate like calcite and aragonite are the major minerals that make limestone.
Limestone has been mentioned in the Ayurveda for its various health benefits. Maharishi Bhagbata in his scripture Ashtanga Hridayam mentioned that limestone could be used to cure about seventy diseases in human beings.
Limestone is chemically called calcium carbonate and is thus, abundantly rich in calcium. Besides this, a host of other minerals are present in it, making it suitablefor good health. The practice of eating limestone with betel leaves (paan) is common in India. The major health benefits associated with limestone have been discussed below.
Adequate dietary calcium is essential for growing kids as it lays the foundation of the future bone structure. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in bone. It is present in large amounts in limestone and thus, is deemed ideal for growing kids.
Studies have found that inclusion of limestone in the diet in the recommended doses can help in the appropriate development of bones in kids. Proper calcium levels further ensure that children attain the proper height with age.
Calcium is required for the formation of a proper set of teeth. Calcium deficiency gives rise to a number of teeth and gum problems. The jaw bones that are required for holding the teeth in place are also strengthened by calcium.
A predominant symptom of diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis is the inflammation (painful swelling) of joints. These diseases are often caused due to a deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D in the body.
Studies have found that inclusion of limestone in the diet can prevent such diseases due to a better supply of calcium. It also reduces inflammation by improving bone mass density in these patients. The antioxidant property of limestone also plays a role in the reduction of inflammation in joints.
Another major benefit of calcium is among pregnant women. The calcium content of limestone will help in increasing the bone strength of foetus and promote its healthier growth. Also, it has been suggested that intake of limestone in the diet will ensure a normal delivery with a reduction in labour pain.
Calcium and Vitamin D play an important role in the functioning of the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. Unregulated levels of calcium metabolism have been found to be a risk factor for Alzheimers disease. It could lead to the production of proteins such as tau and amyloid beta peptides, that are associated with the development of Alzheimer's. This may affect the cognitive (related to memory and brain) functioningof the individual.
Studies have found that calcium carbonate causes the inner lining of the stomach to increase the secretion of acids and gastric juices aiding in digestion. The inclusion of limestone can, therefore, prevent digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
Limestone is also believed to improve the metabolic activity of the liver. It is thus recommended to be consumed with sugarcane juice, for the management of liver function disorders such as jaundice. However, further studies are required to confirm this hypothesis.
The use of limestone paste is recommended in case of skin conditions such as acne which develop majorly in oily skin types. Calcium present in limestone is antioxidising in actions and can help in the treatment ofacne. Antioxidants also help in preventing tissue damage and cause delaying in ageing of the skin.
The antioxidising property of limestone is helpful for the healing of wounds. It is as an excellent remedy for treating cuts or burns while acting as an antiseptic. This helps wounds to dry quickly and reduces their healing time. Due to these reasons, various ointments for wounds already have limestone or calcium carbonate as a key ingredient.
Disclaimer: All information and articles available on this site are for educational purposes only. The information given here should not be used without any expert advice for the diagnosis or treatment of any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified doctor for medical examination and treatment.
information on the role of sulfur - what does sulfur do for plants
Sulfur is as necessary as phosphorus and is considered an essential mineral. What does sulfur do for plants? Sulfur in plants helps form important enzymes and assists in the formation of plant proteins. It is needed in very low amounts, but deficiencies can cause serious plant health problems and loss of vitality.
Plants only need 10 to 30 pounds of sulfur per acre . Sulfur also acts as a soil conditioner and helps reduce the sodium content of soils. Sulfur in plants is a component of some vitamins and is important in helping give flavor to mustard, onions and garlic.
Sulfur born in fertilizer assists in seed oil production, but the mineral can accumulate in sandy or overworked soil layers. The role of sulfur as a soil conditioner to reduce sodium requires 1,000 to 2,000 pounds (450-900 kg.) per acre (4,000 square meters). Sulfur deficiencies in soil are rare, but do tend to occur where fertilizer applications are routine and soils do not percolate adequately.
The ratio of sulfur in plants is 10:1 and carried in the tissues of the plant. Much of this is brought up from natural soil decay and previous plant matter. Some minerals found in soil contain sulfur, which is released as the minerals break down.
Plants that are not able to intake enough sulfur will exhibit yellowing of leaves that seems remarkably similar to nitrogen deficiency. With sulfur depletion, problems tend to show up on the younger leaves first followed by the older leaves. In plants depleted of nitrogen, the older leaves at the bottom are first affected, moving upwards.
Deposits of gypsum in the soil strata can capture sulfur and older plants with long roots may recover once they reach this level of soil. The role of sulfur as a nutrient is most evident on mustard crops, which will exhibit scarcity symptoms early in development.
Gardeners in areas with limited rainfall and little limestone will have high pH levels. Most plants enjoy moderate pH, so its important to lower that level. Sulfur is useful for this but its application depends upon your pH level.
The National Gardening Association has a handy pH calculator that will tell you how much sulfur you need to add to acidify your soil slightly. The easiest form of sulfur is 100 percent finely ground sulfur, which is found in fungicides or just pure as a soil amendment.
Sulfur is not normally needed in the home landscape. If your plants exhibit signs of sulfur depletion, try a side dress of manure. It wont harm the plants and will slowly leach sulfur in the soil as it composts into the earth.
Sulfur is always recommended for seed oil crops and usually is applied from sulfur dusts or pesticides. Most fertilizers will also contain enough sulfur to restore soil levels. Be cautious and follow instructions with sulfur gardening usage. Too much sulfur may be retained in soils and cause other nutrient uptake issues. Start with moderate applications and use natural products.
top reasons limestone is great for your garden
Limestone is a beautiful accent for your home that comes in a variety of options, and it is also a great neutralizer of acid when it comes to lakes and soil. Agricultural limestone and dolomite limestone are the two types of limestone that gardeners and farmers use to enhance soil conditions. Agricultural limestone (Ag lime) carries calcium, while dolomite limestone incorporates calcium and magnesium. Both forms of limestone are beneficial, but a few farmers choose to use dolomite to fight magnesium deficiencies in the flora. There are many advantages to using limestone in your garden, courtyard or lawn, as well as on large plots of land and for maintaining small ponds or natural pools on your property.
In most cases, the soil of your lawn, field or garden will become acidic over time because of several different elements. Along with decomposition of natural corrosion and erosion, the soil needs a little love from a neutralizer like limestone. Limestone raises the pH level to a neutral variety beneficial to flowers, usually between 5.5 and 6.5. If the pH is acidic and below 5.5, or if the pH is alkaline and above 6.5, this could create a nutrient deficiency for your plants, grass and naturally occurring flora in the environment. One of the best and most natural ways to enhance the nutritional levels in your lawn ph is to mix limestone into your fertilizer.
When the soil in your garden or lawn reaches an acidic pH stage, certain nutrients in the soil like aluminum, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron increase to poisonous levels. This can ruin your grass, plants, and the natural habitat for wildlife that lives there. Thankfully, using limestone in your garden or lawn will help nourish your plants so they live and grow even longer. Limestone will prevent the buildup of harmful lawn toxins and it can also safely improve the calcium levels in your soil.
When you add limestone to your fertilizer it improves the structure of the soil, and raises or lowers the acid to correct the soils pH. Thanks to limestones neutralizing properties, nutrients are more readily absorbed in the soil and plants, and your flora can maintain more water. Additionally, herbicides work much more successfully in a neutral pH-based environment thanks to the fabulous properties of limestone.
Agricultural and dolomite limestone comes in numerous varieties and sizes, which include huge blocks, pellets, and pulverized limestone to mix with fertilizer. According to the National Lime Association, the physical specifications of the different forms vary. The pelletized limestone comes in one-inch pieces, for example. Pulverized limestone is much smaller and passes through a No. 20 sieve. Whichever size limestone you choose for your garden, courtyard or lawn, use the proper quantity blended with fertilizer to see the full benefits of this powerful soil neutralizer.